4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2012 11:00 AM by Richard Leeke

    350,000 records + 20 filters = grinding halt

    Paul Youthed

      Hi Tableau-ers,


      Ive been trying to get my report to work and Tableau doesn’t seem to be able to cope with the dashboard I have set up, and im wondering how to get help or weather tableau is the right product for what I need.


      The report is for my ER department to create mailing list for themselves.

      The nature of the report requires it to have a lot of filters on the page. Around 20.

      Having this many filters on the page seems to bring tableau to a grinding halt.

      These are nearly all mulitple choose tick box filters.

      ER need to be able to chose one or more of three catagories (enquirers, applicants, current students), they also need to be able to choose things like departments, schools, year of study etc etc


      I set up my project in the following way:

      1.       Create a data source from a single view on the server, containing around 350,000 rows, and fully import all the records.

      2.       Add the 20 filters to worksheet

      3.       Add the fields I need in the row results (name, address, email) (on worksheet)

      4.       Create a dashboard (add the filters and the result)

      5.       Publish


      Doing this setup hangs tableau (the preview never gets to the end – I get a ‘session ended by server’ time out error.)

      I don’t get this error if I use less filters.


      Do you have any suggestions of what I can do to get this working, or do you think that tableau is fundamentally not suited for this kind of task?

        • 1. Re: 350,000 records + 20 filters = grinding halt
          Alex Kerin

          I wonder if it would help to add any of these as context filters? I don't know if that improves filter performance. Are your filters set to relevant values only? You may want to change that if so.

          • 2. Re: 350,000 records + 20 filters = grinding halt
            Paul Youthed

            hi Alex,


            ive read the small amount of information on 'context filters' and they seem to be for narrowing down the results of the results in your results. this is also what you are getting at when you say i should filter relevant vaules.

            both these are not really going to make any difference as the results im getting back from the VIEW on my database alraedy filter back only the results i want.


            i really need some more general advice on how i can set up a lot of filters on a page without killing Tableau.


            ive tried optimizing my dataset - but that didnt seem to do anything [it just came back with a message saying 0 rows updated].


            i might try data blending but again im not entirely sure this is the right direction to go in as im such a Tableau newb.


            i'ld love to hear from someone who has actually do something similar - eg a dashboard heavy on mulitple filters.

            where all you are trying to do is get back a set of results for the user to extract to a spreadsheet.





            • 3. Re: 350,000 records + 20 filters = grinding halt
              Paul Youthed

              ...to clarify:


              this is a simple one page dashboard, with 20 filters.

              the filters let you choose what catagory of customers you want to contact.

              their are three types of customer - enquirers, applicants and current students.

              the other filters help catagories the customers.

              so for instance i might choose the department of english.

              i could choose applicants and enquirers.

              i would then get a list of just applicants and enquirers from the english department.


              is this a task that tableau can meet?

              normally i would just right this in PHP and MySQL and a web form with filters and the results would come back on 'submit'. however we dont use this technology where i work so im trying to get it working with Tableau.

              • 4. Re: 350,000 records + 20 filters = grinding halt
                Richard Leeke

                You could try the technique I described in this link: http://community.tableau.com/message/189086#189086. What that does is to allow you to force some of your filters to be evaluated in Tableau rather than in the datasource. That can sometimes make a huge difference.


                I would try having a few of your more selective filters as normal filters that are applied in the back end and then replacing the rest with filters using this trick. Ideally you want to limit the number of rows actually returned to Tableau as much as you can with the normal filters, but use the other technique to pick through the rest.